OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between the time spent watching television and the sociodemographic characteristics with the presence of overweight and obesity in Colombian adolescents. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Secondary analysis of the information obtained in the National Survey of the Nutritional Situation 2010 of Colombia, in a probabilistic sample of 18177 adolescents with an age range between 13 and 17 years. The time spent watching television and / or videogames and sociodemographic factors was determined. Anthropometric markers and body composition were recorded. Associations were established through logistic regression models. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight was 13.0% (95% CI 12.4-13.8) and obesity was 3.0% (95% CI 2.8-3.3). The prevalences of overweight and obesity were higher in adolescent women [16.6% (95% CI 15.8-17.5) and 3.4% (95% CI 3.1-3.7), respectively]. Overweight and obesity were associated with being female [OR 1.94 (95%CI 1.77-2.12) and OR 1.29 (95%CI 1.09-1.53), respectively], high socioeconomic level [OR 1.22 (95%CI 1.10-1.36) and OR 1.47 (95%CI 1.19-1.81), respectively], reside in urban area [OR 1.13 (95%CI 1.03-1.24) and OR 1.47 (95%CI 1.21-1.79), respectively]. Being indigenous was associated with being overweight [OR 1.25 (95%CI 1.10-1.42)], while being Afro-Colombian was associated with obesity [OR 1.33 (95%CI 1.05-1.69)]. Watching television and / or video games for two or more hours a day [OR1.17 (95%CI 1.06-1.30)] was associated with being overweight; whereas watching television every day of the week was associated with obesity [OR 1.66 (95%CI 1.13-2.43)]. CONCLUSIONS: The population studied has a significant prevalence of overweight and obesity, being overweight is associated with being a woman, a high socioeconomic status, residing in an urban area, having an indigenous ethnicity, watching television for three days during the week and looking at more than two hours of television in a day; Obesity is associated with being a woman, a medium-high and high socioeconomic status, residing in an urban area, Afro-Colombian ethnicity, watching television at least once in the last week and watching television every day during the last week.